Kolkata - Brief overview! 25/2/2010 - 28/2/2010
Kolkata Travel Blog› entry 1 of 26 › view all entries
Arrived in India - were quickley jostled into a taxi (classic Indian ambassador!!) and set off across Kolkata to the YWCA...eventually arrived with our hearts in our mouths, after having several near death experiences!! Was struck by the lights, the humidity and the HUGE amount of honking that goes on! It seems to be a way of communication in a scary dog eat dog world of buses, trams, taxis and tuk tuks!
Settled in to our basic, but comfortable accomodation - REMEMBER TO BRING TOILET ROLL!!!
Have visited - The Loretto School - set up to help girls of all ages and means to gain an education + also runs outreach programs to train teachers all over west bengal. Also met the rainbow children - a group of street children who live on the roof of the school and get a free education! Fascinating place!
Saw Mother Theresa's Motherhouse, her tomb, old room and a small museum with various artifacts of hers (sandals, rosary, tube that was in her throat when she was ill and some of her blood) I found it a bit weird and spooky - but interesting none the less!
Got chai - served off the street for about Rs.
Saw an orphanage that was set up by mother Theresa - interesting but quite heart wrenching as all the kids were separated, and lived in quite basic facilities! There was also a special "ward" for disabled orphans which was wonderful...everyone seemed so happy, despite their obvious problems!
Also have seen the Victoria Memorial - pretty, many underfed horses, dancing monkeys and people wanting their picture taken with you!
HOLI!!! Brilliant fun!! Coloured powder, water, music and so mant people~ Such fun!!! Started off quietly enough, with it being just amongst the 16 of us, but we were quickly joined by children from all around, and then we joined a street party! Got a bit mental! We were just attacked by so many young boys, smudging multi coloured hands all over your face and hair - the vaseline we were told to put on to stop the dye dying us was USELESS!!! WAter was chucked from houses on top of us and much blindness ensued!! We were eventually moved on by the police, but the party continued down the street!! Had some bizare milk drink called phung - or something like that.
Then, alas our time in Kolkata was over, it was brief but very exciting, and a brilliant start to our indian adventure! On to the train the 16 of us were poured, and out 8hour overnight train ride to New Jalpaiguri began! The trains - 2nd class, were very nice! 8people to the carriage...met some very nice indian people and had a good nights sleep!
Arrived in New Jalpaiguri, to be greeted by a somewhat bemeaused Mr Thapa - we were all still dyed VERY pink from the holi - despite our best efforts to depinkify....at least most of our faces were clean (minus a few pink eyebrows!) Little time for good byes before we were swept away by Mr Thapa and his kind welcome!
More to come.
Much love to all!!